After having your iPhone for a while, you may notice issues with its charging. For example, you may notice that it is not charging at all. Some iPhones may charge but only when you have plugged them into specific charging cables or specific car chargers.

An iPhone is supposed to charge when plugged into any charging cable or car charger as long as it is the correct cable or charger. Therefore, if you have noticed any of the above issues, it means that something must be wrong with the iPhone charging port. In the majority of the cases, charging issues can be fixed by cleaning the iPhone charging port. But, what will you be cleaning?

What's Inside the Charging Port of Your iPhone/iPad?

Although your iPhone may look clean on the outside, it does not mean that it also has a clean charging port. Remember the charging port is placed at the bottom of your iPhone. Also, it is always open. This means that it can easily collect dirt, debris, and lint from the surrounding. The port can collect these elements from even your pocket or purse. The port can collect dust on a windy day or even from your home. Simply put, there are numerous things that can clog your lightning port.

When this debris clogs your charging port, it ends up on the charging pins. These are the pins which connect to the charging cable and hence make charging possible. The debris will keep the pins from making a good connection with the charging cable.  As we have already pointed out earlier, these charging issues can be fixed by cleaning the charging port. But, how do you clean the charging port?

Top 3 Tips to Clean Your iPhone/iPad Charging Port

Using Compressed Air to Clean iPhone Charging Port

The key to using this method successfully is to ensure you spray just a little air at a time. Patience is key here. Make sure you don’t empty the whole air can all at once into the port. This can damage it. Also, note that Apple does not recommend the use of compressed air when cleaning the lightning port.

use compressed air to clean iphone charging port

Therefore, you will need to be extra careful when performing this procedure. To clean charging port for iPhone 6/5s/6s successfully using compressed air, follow the steps indicated below:

Step #1: Obtain an air can. Make sure it comes with a straw (should be small) you can attach to its nozzle.
Step #2: Connect the small straw to the air can.
Step #3: Position the now connected straw on one end of your iPhone lightning port.
Step #4: Now focus on blowing few short blasts into the iPhone charging port. Make sure that each blast does not last more than 1 to 2 seconds.
Step #5: You can use a mini vac if you own one to try and draw out any loose debris particles.
Step #6: Repeat the above procedure several times and then test the charging port. If the iPhone starts charging, there is nothing else you need to do.

Using a Toothpick to Clean iPhone Lightning Port

The compressed air method we have already looked at can work if the debris inside your charging port is not tightly packed. However, by connecting the charging cable every now and then, you may have caused the dirt to become tightly packed such that compressed air won’t do the trick. In such a case, a toothpick can work.

use toothpick to clean iphone charge port



This will be your cleaning tool. One toothpick can work but you should have a couple close to you just in case one toothpick breaks. Although you may have heard that a pin or a paper clip can work, we don’t recommend using them. Your charging port is made up of small electronic pins. Shoving hard and sharp things into the port might damage it. A toothpick is better since it is malleable and hence less likely to damage the port. The best toothpick to use is the round-tipped since it has zero sharpness.


To see whether you have managed to clean your charging port effectively, you will need a flashlight. Without a flashlight, you won’t see whether there is any debris remaining inside.

Keep in mind that the toothpick cleaning process will take a while. Therefore, you need to be patient. The following steps should help you clean the iPhone lightning port using a toothpick:

Step #1: Turn your iPhone off.
Step #2: Hold your iPhone such that its backside faces up.
Step #3: Place a toothpick inside its charging port.
Step #4: Scrape slowly against the charging port back wall.

Keep scraping until you notice some debris on your toothpick. The time it takes to notice this debris will depend on how tightly-packed the debris is inside the port. In rare cases, you may also need to scrape the charging port sides. When scraping the sides, you need to be extremely careful to ensure you don’t damage the anchors.

Step #5: Keep repeating the fourth step until you stop noticing debris on your toothpick.

Sometimes you may need to blow into the charging port to remove the loose lint. When you stop noticing dirt on your toothpick, try charging your iPhone again.

Use a Professional

If you have tried the above methods but when you test your iPhone you find that it is still not charging, it might be a good idea to take it to a cleaning professional. A professional will have professional cleaning tools. Therefore, he or she will be able to remove all the debris from your lightning port quite easily without causing any damage. The places where you can find a cleaning professional include an iPhone repair shop, a battery store, and a watch repair shop.


If you find that your iPhone is not charging or it is displaying peculiar charging behavior like being selective about the charging cables that work, its charging port might be dirty. This is a problem that you can fix quite easily at home. The first two tips included in this article will help you clean the port yourself. If these two methods don’t work, you may need to use a professional cleaner.